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Comedians and fans mourn the loss of Barry Crimmins, a founder of ’80s Boston comedy scene

Barry CrimminsAssociated Press for The Boston Globe

Barely a month after revealing he’d been diagnosed with cancer, comedian Barry Crimmins has died. Crimmins’s wife, Helen, who’s battling stage four non-Hodgkins lymphoma herself, shared the sad news on Twitter early Thursday morning.

“Helen here with sad news ... Barry passed peacefully yesterday with Bobcat and I,” she wrote, referring to comedian Bobcat Goldthwait. “He would want everyone to know that he cared deeply about mankind and wants you to carry on the good fight. Peace.”

Crimmins, one of the founders of the Boston comedy scene in the 1980s and a hero to the likes of Stephen Wright and Denis Leary, was well known for his left-leaning political views, which informed much of of his humor. He was the subject of the 2015 documentary “Call Me Lucky,” directed by Goldthwait.


Friends, fans, and fellow comics responded to Crimmins’ passing with emotional tributes on social media. Here are just a few:

Helen Crimmins, photographer

Judd Apatow, producer, director

Lizz Winstead, co-creator of “The Daily Show,” comedian

John Hodgman, humorist, author

Dana Gould, comedian, actor

Hari Kondabolu, comedian, filmmaker, actor

Michael Ian Black, comedian, actor, writer